Between April and July 1994, Rwanda suffered a genocide distinguished by its intensity and severity of violence: about one million people were killed. Given the large numbers of Rwandans who experienced major traumatic events, not surprisingly in the aftermath of 1994 numerous epidemiological studies showed high rates of psychological and psychosocial problems in the population of Rwanda. Social programs and mental health services established for genocidetraumatized Rwandans emphasize the role of clinical psychology as a profession. This article reflects on the potentialities and challenges of implementing psychological interventions in the aftermath of a genocide, focusing on group therapy. More specifically, this article explores the position of clinical psychologists among Western ‘medicalization’ of mental disorders and traditional healing mechanisms.
Keywords: Genocide, collective trauma, professional career in psychology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Rwanda